Midas beats annual targets but issues cautious outlook

Rachael Tinniswood

Midas, Manchester's inward investment agency, today said it assisted in the creation of 3,110 new jobs across Greater Manchester during 2007/8, exceeding its targets for job creation and foreign direct investment.

Highlights for the organisation, which has recently agreed a new three-year funding deal with the North West Development Agency, included securing a £12m investment from Sainsbury's, creating its first human resources function outside of its London head office, as well as welcoming Arista Insurance and international banking firms Handelsbanken and Macquarie.

Midas, which also aims to safeguard existing jobs across the city region, said it ensured that 1,532 jobs were retained in the last financial year, with organisations such as Swinton Insurance, Opal Telecom and IBM.

The agency's development programme with foreign-owned companies recently expanded across Greater Manchester and Midas said it saw a 79% increase in the number of foreign direct investment jobs created and safeguarded over the past 12 months.

Colin Sinclair, Midas chief executive said: "Midas has exceeded its inward investment targets again, reflecting the continuing hard work that the Midas team and our Manchester family partners have put into improving both national and international business perceptions of the city region.

"We've had another good year in the financial services sector – where we can now justifiably claim to be the largest centre outside of London – and also within the creative industries where new media and digital are particularly strong with anticipation growing around the BBC relocation to mediacity:uk".

On a more cautious note, Sinclair said: "We expect the next 12 months to be tougher than ever as the impact of the recent financial turmoil hits the investment market. However, Manchester has already shown its quality and resilience with the recent Bank of New York Mellon expansion and London, Europe and North America remain our primary target markets. We are also working with the NWDA to increase investment from India, Japan and China".

Bruntwood founder Michael Oglesby, chairman of Midas, said: "These excellent results are testament to the hard work of the MIDAS team, the support of our ten local authority partners and theNWDA, and the relationships we continue to develop with key partner organisations such as Manchester Enterprises, Marketing Manchester, Manchester: Knowledge Capital, and pro.manchester".

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